Friday, May 2, 2008

If you haven't heard of Howard Zinn you have missed out!

After running in the rain, accidentally, I am now dry and having a video night. I am watching a documentary on Howard Zinn. I think highly of him. He is an activist, historian, protester of the war, marcher for civil rights, and all around stunning man. He was a professor for a while at Spellman College (a black University) then Boston University.

The damn documentary made me cry. I don't know why. It's good but not that stunning. It's a documentary. But, I think I cried because I am not making a difference.

I just live my life. It's a life I'm a fan of especially lately. But watching this makes me realize, in comparison, what I could be, could do... for... civil rights, the poor, gay rights.... I haven't even protested the war. Lo protested the war. (which by the way I find so attractive).

And I know it's always about the next ten feet. I can't change the world, but I can go the next ten feet. I can vote. I can be as "out" to family and friends. I can speak truth to power. I can see and speak of history and our story from the view of the powerless... like Howard Zinn.

His best selling history book tells history from the point of view of the powerless. And let me tell you this is rare! Who does that? Most history books are told from who won. The winners are the ones who get to tell history and they leave out who lost who was decimated. Not Zinn. He tells history from the perspective of Native Americans white settlers decimated, African Americans we enslaved, Chinese who were in work camps. He makes clear that people that seem to have no power: working people, women, the poor have a power that no on can express.

And he stresses that we never start from scratch, as a nation, or as individuals. There is a long history of resistance to power throughout history. I recommend the documentary "Howard Zinn: You can't be nutral on a moving train" and especially his book A People's History of the United States: Present


A People's History of the United States: Present - 2003 - 760 pages
The Twentieth Century: A People's History - 2003 - 516 pages
The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and ... - 1997 - 675 pages

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